ZHANGJIAGANG CITY, China (Sept. 9, 2010)—Toyo Tire & Rubber Co. Ltd. has broken ground on its planned car and light truck tire plant in Zhangjiang City, which the firm said should begin making tires by December 2011.
The $105 million plant, designed with an annual production capacity of 2 million units, will be Toyo's second wholly owned factory outside of Japan, joining the firm's plant in White, Ga., in that distinction.
Toyo Tire President and CEO Kenji Nakakura presided over the groundbreaking along with Mitsuru Hitotsuyanagi, chairman of Toyo Tires Zhangjiagang Co. Ltd., the new company set up to operate the factory in China's Jiangsu Province.
The event attracted about 300 guests, Toyo said, including the mayor of Zhangjiagang City and the Japanese consulate-general in Shanghai and many representatives from the municipal government and the local community.
The plant, which will take the place of Toyo's previous joint ventures with Taiwan's Cheng Shing Rubber Co. Ltd./Maxxis International, will provide about 500 jobs at full capacity.
Toyo dissolved its partnership in China with Cheng Shin/Maxxis International in August 2009 but then signed a consignment manufacturing agreement with its former partner to help it continue to supply customers until its own factory comes on stream.